Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can't Wait Until I'm Eight...

How has Jack turned 8 already?!?
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a person has to be eight years old before they are baptized. That way, kids have the chance to learn about the Gospel of Christ before they make covenants with God. They get to choose. We were so please when Jack chose to follow Christ's example and be baptized on December 29th. He asked his dad to baptize him, which was a really special experience for them both.
 All in white and ready to go!
It's so crazy to see how much this little guy has grown up! He's such a good example to us of being willing to share, to admit his mistakes, and to try his best.
(Guess who didn't want to be in the family picture?)
After he was baptized, Jack talked about how much he wants to follow Jesus' example. Man, isn't that what we should all really want to do? Congratulations, Axel Jack, we are so proud of your decision to follow Jesus' example! We all just need to remember to follow His example every day.
We were especially blessed to have our parents able to attend and witness Jack's baptism. My Dad and Carla (his lovely wife) came out and spent the weekend with us. I was really excited to get to know Carla better, and we all fell in love with her. Once again, Amelia thought Carla came just as her friend, and spent much of the weekend in Carla's lap! Tyler's Mom and Dad also came out, which was wonderful and a little more spread-out fun (they were in SLC for 2 weeks), but due to my not taking pictures of anything...I have no pictures to share! (Anyone else take baptism picts? I was waddling around like a crazy penguin and didn't get any further into picture taking than "Hmmm, I should find my camera so I can take pictures of this..." before I got distracted by something and completely forgot...).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

T'was the Season

2012 included Christmas again. Isn't it great, the way it comes every year? Despite having the longest time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I never felt like we got on top of things. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and 2 day shipping! Also, thank goodness for kids who really remember and embrace the traditions we've established!
Decorating the tree the first weekend of December. We rocked out to the Muppets/John Denver Christmas album and let the kids pile on all the ornaments. I mostly sat on the couch and put ornament hooks onto plastic balls :) Tyler got to do the hard work (as usual) or stringing on the lights and making sure no one impaled anyone else with said ornament hooks.
 Amelia loved the Santa hats. She kept rediscovering them.
 I think this is how Tyler felt after a LONG day of holiday shopping :)
 Henry and Jack got the chance to visit with St. Nick. Sheridan does NOT like Santa. She wouldn't even go into the room where Santa was located. At 11 months, Sheridan discovered Santa for the first time...and she immediately decided she detested him. In that time, she's only sat on his lap ONCE (last Christmas, he visited our house and she was willing to give him a chance...but it didn't stick, apparently!).
 Jack talked Santa's ear off. "And chapter, books, Santa, the LONG kind. That's what I really want!" (no joke)
 The kids had their "Sing Around" at school. 10 points if you can spy Jack (you lose! it's actually Sheridan in this picture. Haha!).
Christmas Eve dawned snowy. It was wonderful, the second real snowfall of the year. It left a couple of inches (oh how we cheered! Little did we know that was the last we'd see of the ground for a month...). We had our family Christmas Eve dinner with our dear friend, Colleen, this year. It was so fun to have her (Amelia really latched onto her and thought Colleen had just come as HER friend!).
The three oldest kids were very serious all night. No laughing!
They acted out the nativity for us and we were able to sing carols through the story. It's one of our favorite Christmas traditions. Which is, I'm sure, why I forgot to take any pictures of it. :)

Yay! We love Christmas morning! Once things got going, there wasn't a lot of time (or camera battery) for picture taking!
The magic of discovering stocking goodness!
Amelia figuring out how the whole "Christmas morning" thing goes...
After a nice, relaxing morning with yummy breakfast and lots of playing, we headed up to Sandy to visit the rest of the family. Grammy and Pop were in town and staying with Tyler's sister and fam. We got spoiled some more (and I got my long longed-for wheat grinder!!! Talk about the most unexpected and yet appreciated gift ever!) and had a DELICIOUS dinner.
Amelia cozied up to Grammy and completely charmed her (as she tends to charm anyone within reach of her sunny smile). She was able to mooch some whipping cream and pie, no prob.
Grandpa and Grandma Diane were there, too! For living so close, we don't get to see these families nearly often enough, so we really appreciate and enjoy the chances we have to spend time together.
 More family!!! Yay!!

Although it was belated due to my sloth-like energy levels, Grammy made sure the kids got to build candy houses!
 The kids had an exceptionally boring time and hated every second of the sugar high :)
I don't think Henry's even had sugar yet, this is just him acting natural. Hee hee.
Christmas was wonderful, but I honestly gained a huge appreciation for what Mary went through for the first Christmas. I was snug in my own home, only having to waddle out to the van in order to get anywhere. When I felt too lousy, I could take a nap. She had to take a donkey, probably with contractions. And she didn't have Amazon Prime to take care of her nesting. :) Seriously, though, what a blessing it was to celebrate the birth of our Savior with family. We are blessed to have so much, but most especially blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to go through life together.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hank and the Neverland Pirates

Henry had his first friend birthday party this year! You might sense a theme from Jack's, but I was really tired and tried to avoid throwing the party...but alas, it was not to be!

 So I made him a cool cake (this parrot is named Skully and he's from "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"). Fortunately, I took care of this the night before.
Of course, we left off preparing the games until the day of the party.
Bad call. Tyler became violently ill just moments before the first guests arrived (which meant that he was moving more slowly than he expected when it came time to put the cardboard "boat" together for the kids to play in, which meant it didn't get done, which meant that I kinda ran out of things for the poor kiddos to do...).
Each kid got their own souvenir doo-rag to start their pirate adventure. Then we colored pictures of Jake and his crew. That lasted a whole 15 minutes (I was supposed to be making a "don't eat pete" board while they were coloring, but...that didn't work out with the whole indisposed spouse).

But hey, after having a "cannonball" fight from the half-finished boat, the kids were hungry anyways, right? So we ate Skully.
During which I made a Don't Eat Pete gameboard. And then we plied the kids with more sugar. And then we opened presents. And they all played with the presents. Fortunately, time was up and they were done. Phew!
And then Tyler got better. (He really was sick. Food poisoning? He was the only one to get it, thank goodness! Can you imagine sending everyone home with their pirate goody bag and eye patch...and the stomach flu? Yeah, party of the year, folks.)
Oh, and the lack of picts from the party? Yeah, the photographer was ill... :)
And later we celebrated Hank's birth with far too many gifts.
He was pretty stoked about the Batman toy from Grandpa and Grandma Carla.
We love our "little" Hank-a-roo!
Fave color: Blue
Fave food: Pizza
Fave thing to do: anything with his siblings!
Henry is learning to spell now--so fun! He has an infectious smile (those dimple!) and loves to make other people laugh.  The kid has some crazy hair, but we can't really bear to cut it--it's so cute! His concept of time is iffy--"yestertimes" or "yesterday" is his reference to the past (no matter how far in the past it is). "Tomorrow" is the future. The kid is built like a tank and just barrels through life, never seeing any obstacles in his path. He's become pretty sensitive lately. Henry loves to run and jump and can't wait until it's warm again so he can play outside!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Alien Invasion (and Jack turns 8!?!)

It is still November, right?
Because otherwise, I'm really belated in posting about Jack's 8th birthday!
Anyhow, Jack turned 8. He partied like it was 1999. Or whatever the year was that ET came out 
(I jest! I know ET came out WAY before then.
What do you mean, what's ET? Kids these days, sheesh!)
Jack couldn't make up his mind about what sort of party theme he wanted. To be honest, I was so tired (at only 7 months preggo) that I wasn't up to putting major effort into a party.
A week or so before his birthday he decided on...
Harry Potter!
I said no. That is a them that needs some time to do well. 
"Aliens" was his back-up choice. (note to readers: searching under "aliens" on pintrest can pull up some uber-creepy things, as I quickly learned). We went for the non-horrific version.
So the kiddos built their own flying saucers...
 and took them out back for a test flight. It was a gorgeous, warm and sunny day.
I miss those days.
Some of the finished creations. We were all pretty impressed by how well those UFO's flew!
The kids spent ages perfecting their flying saucers. Seriously, I think it took up half the time!
Then we had a rip-roaring game of "land the UFO on the alien planet". It took about 5 seconds and the kids were DONE. I didn't take pictures of the moon rock relay, but that was another shortie. 
 Then, it was time to prove our human superiority by eating the alien UFO cake. Nope, not my snazziest creation, but I had a funeral to attend that morning and I valued sleep more than a pretty cake :) I am not the coolest-mom-ever whilst pregnant. There's always next year!
 Look, it's the cake again! If I had thought about it a little longer, I would've used the cake plate to look like the bottom of the UFO (and put a cow with a light shining down on it in the base of the plate so it looked like the UFO was beaming the cow up...ah, well, too late now!).
 But, hey, it's cake, right? So the kids ate it and opened presents and everyone went home, I'm assuming they were happy. Because we were all pooped!
 Jack's actual birthday morning, he was spoiled! A microscope! Lego game! Books! Oh my!
 And, of course, now that the kid is 8 he can be a CUB SCOUT!!! Thanks, Grammy and Pop, he loves the uniform! (3 months later, and I still have to get the unit patches and sew on his bobcat. Sigh.)
Tyler volunteers in Jack's classroom on Mondays, so he also got a pict of the class celebrating. Hooray!
Things about Jack right now:
He's sleeping (that's why I can get any blogging in :) )
Fave color: Green
Fave food: Pizza or tortellini
Fave thing to do: Read (esp. fantasy like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson)

Jack is learning to rock out on the piano. He's been playing about a year, and we're amazed at how quickly he's progressing. He's such a musical kid--one of the adults who helps me out at church was amazed that he can actually sing really well. Jack loves to be on stage. He is SMART, but he can get so caught up with what's going on in his head that reality fades to background noise (he may get that from his mom...). He is generally a fantastic big brother. Jack is very caring and compassionate. He is NOT physically competitive but is a perfectionist about non-physical stuff (like school work and being right). We cannot believe how quickly this kid is growing up!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: It's Up in the Air

This year, we did things a little differently.
"How so?" you might ask.
Well...we (meaning Tyler) decided to be fun and let the kids decorate for Halloween. I am a stick-in-the-mud. He took the kids to DI and bought the makings of a scarecrow and ghost for outside.
 That, for us, is crazy decorating.
 We also didn't have a real cohesive family theme. We've done Peter Pan, we've done Star Wars, we've done The Wizard of Oz, we've done Calvin and Hobbes. I knew the days of agreement were numbered, as both of my older kids were getting rather opinionated about what they would (or more often WOULD NOT) be for Halloween.
Since last year, when she was convinced to go at Leia, Sheridan has been DYING to dress up as a swan-princess-ballerina. And she actually remembered that in August when I started trying to talk everyone into a theme. Do you know, there's not a lot of boyish costumes that go well with a swan-princess-ballerina? Well, not unless they want to be a prince, which my boys certainly did NOT want to be.

So, we had one Odette (from Swan Lake) and no other concrete ideas. I needed a lot of time to make her costume, though, so it works out ok. (Yep, all but the leotard was envisioned by moi.).
And then, in September, Henry piped up that he'd like to be a parrot.
No idea where the parrot came from. Oh, and he didn't want to be just any parrot. He wanted to be a BLUE parrot. 
"Like on Rio?" I asked.
"No," was his adamant reply. "Like a blue parrot." 
Thankfully, pintrest had some parrot costume ideas pinned, and I had enough time. Those wings were a killer, but I can't complain too much when it turned out just like I envisioned and he couldn't stop squawking when he put the costume on!
And so, I figured we could be a flock of birds. Admittedly, with my maiden name, that was a slightly gleeful thought.
Then Jack said he wanted to be a peregrine falcon. (!!!?!???!?!)
Yeah. That wasn't going to be simple. I thought a parrot was hard? Take a look at peregrine falcons!
Then he changed his mind. Couldn't he just be a bat?
I gave up my dream of birds. Fortunately, I waited to make his because his school only allows kids to dress up according to the class theme. His theme was....Peter Pan.
And he decided to be Peter Pan.
Good news? Peter flies!
Bad news? This theme is starting to be a stretch!

He does make a cute Peter Pan, even though he was already that as a 3 yr old! It was (by far) the simplest costume to make and he was thrilled with how it turned out. Except that he wanted a sword. 

Now on to the littlest Vigue. I thought for a long time and finally narrowed it down to owl or monarch butterfly. When I saw this polka dotted fleece at Joanne's I was smitten. And fortunately, once the costume was done, she was just as smitten as I was! She loved the hat and the wings--I've never had a kid love to wear those all Halloween night before! They were a little trickier to make, but totally worth it for her reaction!

 And then, Tyler's sister had a great idea--he should get a Superman shirt and wear it under his suit! Perfect! Since he wears a suit and tie every day, this was not a big stretch for him! And Superman flies, too! (no picts yet, I'll work on that!)
Watch out, theme, we're taking you to town! was harder to think of a costume that included my big old belly. It is rather conspicuous. I though of a hot air balloon, but that could just get weird. I thought of the Death Star, but couldn't figure out how to pull it off. Then my niece posted a pict of Facebook for my SIL of pregnant-lady-as-death-star (my SIL needed a villain costume and she's pregnant, too). It was too perfect. So, with the help of a few crayons and an hour or 2, I was also up in the air.
And that, my friends, is how you work a random family theme.
I look forward to next year's challenge as I try to meld some completely unrelated characters into a cohesive theme.
Until then, I have some candy baskets to raid.

  The crew getting ready to knock on all the doors of the neighborhood!
 Trying for just one good picture of the 4 of them.
Just one!
 Maybe I should become better friends with Photoshop...
Hope you had a Happy Halloween!!